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Fall Season Preview: Women's Soccer

There's more to fall quarter than football.  Seriously.

Of the varsity sports Oregon offers, women's soccer might get the least press (along with women's lacrosse and tennis).  There are reasons for this.

  • It's competing with football season.
  • Soccer still isn't that popular in the US, despite what Matt Daddy may say.
  • They haven't been winning championships or making the playoffs.

Still, we love all our Ducks the same.  So if you don't care to read the lengthy season prospectus, jump the jump and read on.

Last Season in Review: 2009 was an up-and-down year for the Ducks under head coach Tara Erickson.  The non-conference campaign was a brilliant one, as the Ducks went 8-2-1.  After an opening 0-3 loss to #4 Portland at PK Park, the Ducks rattled off an 8 game unbeaten streak, going 7-0-1 and defeating #15 Colorado and #21 Denver, and reaching as high as #14 in the rankings.  But as we all know, the Pac-10 conference is perilous in any sport, and soccer is no exception.  Losses to #21 California and #1 Stanfurd to open the season opened the floodgates, as the Ducks limped to a 1-8 conference record. 

Head Coach: Tara Erickson came to Oregon in 2005, and the team posted its second non-losing season in history.  She hasn't looked back since.  Erickson enters 2010 three wins shy of becoming the all-time winningest coach in Oregon history in only her sixth season.  The high point for the program came in 2006 when the Ducks posted a 6-1-2 conference record and beat #3 UCLA.  She, like all other Oregon coaches, does a fabulous job of teaching student-athletes, as eight players made the Pac-10 All-Academic team.  Erickson is currently on the US Women's U-18 National Team coaching staff, and has the Ducks playing the best soccer in their history as a varsity sport. 

Players to Watch:  The Ducks return 13 letterwinners and 8 starters from last year's team, including leading goal scorer Jen Stoltenberg and junior goalkeeper Cody Miles.  Miles enters this season third in career wins, and tied for second in shutouts.  Along with Stoltenberg, sophomore Julie Armstrong and senior Bree Rowe look to score goals as forwards for the Ducks this season.  Senior Kirstie Kuhns and 2009 Pac-10 Freshman Team member Scout Libke anchor the midfield, with Mercedes Walters and Nicole Bakke returning on defense. 

Schedule: The Ducks open with games at Pape Field against F*** Boise State, Oklahoma State, and SMU, and the Oregon Nike Tournament with UC Davis and Pacific.  The Ducks will participate in tournaments at UNLV and Oregon State, and play Portland in Rip City before opening Pac-10 play against the Beavers.

Season Outlook: The MO for the Ducks as a program has been to play extremely well in their non-conference schedule before slogging through a brutal conference schedule.  With so many returning starters, the best case scenario would be a postseason berth.  At worst, it could be a season similar to last year: a few high points among many near misses. 


Games in Oregon (@ Pape Field unless noted):

8/20 vs. FBSU
8/27 vs. Oklahoma State
8/29 vs. SMU
9/3 vs. UC Davis
9/17 vs. SDSU (Corvallis)
9/19 vs. Butler (Corvallis)
9/24 vs. Santa Clara (Corvallis)
10/1 @ Portland (Portland)
10/8 vs. OSU
10/15 vs. UCLA
10/17 vs. USC
10/29 vs. Arizona
10/31 vs. Arizona State